Eternal Optimism

It’s not something listed under my current personality traits, but I’ve known my share of people who certainly had it at the top of THEIR list.  Today I found myself thinking about one person like that in particular . . . someone I’ll call “Leah.”

Leah had it all:  a rich family, a noble title, and numerous stories to tell of her adventures with ghosts and killers.    All you had to do was ask her about it . . . and ignore the dumpy little apartment space she shared with her mother and her brother.

Oh, and the fact that she was 20, telling stories that would have strained the credibility of a 5-year-old.

Leah was a liar, and not a subtle one, but I was fond of her none the less, in no small part because I knew her stories were all she had.  And for all I know there might have even been a grain of truth to some of her stories; I never found any, mind you, but I want to make it clear I acknowledge the possibility. 

I haven’t seen Leah in a long time, but I did manage . . . barely . . . to meet her at a diner when I was driving through the town that she lived.  I almost left without seeing her, because I was only driving through and couldn’t stop for long, and I ended up waiting for her at the diner for well over an hour after our appointed time.  

Her reason for being so late?

Her mother wouldn’t let her leave the house until Leah had finished putting away the laundry.

Leah was around 30 at this time.

But while I listened to her happily tell me how great things were for her (it was just like old times), she told me about the book she was working on.  She had recently written three chapters, and then promptly sent them off to a publisher. 

Now, an established author MIGHT be able to do something like that and be accepted, but there’s just not a publishing house alive that’ll advance an unknown writer a book advance and a promise to publish on the basis of three chapters, but this wouldn’t have deterred Leah regardless, and neither did the rejection letter that I knew before she told me that she had gotten.  Knowing what I know of form letter rejections, I knew she would have gotten something saying, in effect, “This is only three chapters.  Please finish the book and resubmit your manuscript if you would like it to be considered for publication.”

She had, but want to know how SHE had read it?

“This is only three chapters!  Please finish the book!”

I don’t know where she is these days, but I hope she’s still happy.  She frustrated me and concerned me in equal measure, and yet . . . through it all I found myself coming to grudgingly admire the indefatigability of her spirit. 

I hope she gets published someday.


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